'Is there speed there?' - TV pundits debate Dujon Sterling Rangers card vs Aberdeen as Clement seeks clarity
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Pundits have questioned Don Robertson's decision to send off Dujon Sterling in the latter stages of Rangers 2-1 Scottish Premiership win over Aberdeen - which left Philippe Clement seeking an explanation.
The Ibrox side led the match heading into the final few minutes before Gers utility man Sterling was shown a straight red card by referee Robertson for lunging into a challenge on Dons defender Jack MacKenzie. After a VAR review on the pitchside monitor, Robertson stuck with his on-field call to leave the home crowd stunned.
Clement was similarly aggrieved at the decision and revealed post-match he spoke with Robertson to seek clarification over the incident. Speaking on Sky Sports, the Belgian said: "Dujon, for me, slipped in that moment and he touched the toes of the opponent. Okay, it's for sure a yellow card but if you give red cards for touching the toes of the opponent there will be a lot of red cards.
Quizzed further on the red card and whether the club will consider an appeal on BBC Sportsound, Clement added: "The feeling is that the referee decides at the end. Those are the rules of the game. I just wanted to hear what his opinion was because for me he slips and touches the toes of the opponent, not the ankle or his leg. It's a really harsh red card and I think that also was the reason why they asked him to come and look at the monitor because VAR thought the same thing. At the end it is referees who decide and we need to follow that."
Trio of pundits in full agreement over red card decision
Sky Sports pundits Kenny Miller, Kris Boyd and Chris Sutton also reached a unanimous verdict. Reacting immediately to the flashpoint whilst on commentary duty, Miller stated: "That's not a red card. He's slid in, his feet are not high at all. He's maybe caught him on the top of the toe, I don't think that's a straight red card. As he comes in, it's his left foot - it's not high and he catches him on the top of the foot. I don't think that's a red card. I must say I'm surprised - the still pictures can do a disservice."
Having watched several television replays in the studio, Boyd and Sutton both agreed with the former Scotland striker. Sutton commented: "I didn't think it was a red card. Do you know what, fair play to Don. He saw it as a red, he went to the monitor and stuck to his decision. He's under all sorts of pressure at Ibrox. I think it's mistimed, he slips after, but I think it's a yellow card."
And former Gers hitman Boyd - despite not seeing eye-to-eye with the ex-Hoops star on many decision - also felt it was harsh, adding: "I agree with Chris. Is there speed there? Maybe. But that's the only box it ticks. Endangering the opponent, no. Chance of playing the ball, yes. It's not high, it's not at the ankle, he's not left the ground. I think it's the wrong decision."